The Alchemist

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Bridget Blair
April 3rd 2013

The Alchemist
The Alchemist was written by Paulo Coelho to express idea on one’s personal calling and meaning in life. There is an archetypal motif of journey in this way. Coelho conveys that realizing one’s personal legend is the most important thing in life. When something is wanted to such an extent, all surroundings help you to achieve it but we have to also struggle to reach our goals and make them a reality. The character Santiago allows us to see this journey, following personal legend. One of the most important aspects in understanding this journey are the archetypal characters Coelho has created. On their own they are not as significant but when the male characters and what they contribute together the message becomes clearer. Paulo Coelho uses archetypal men. These men include the Alchemist, his father and the King. The men. These men stand as redeemer figures. Santiago’s father is important. His father had wanted him to become a priest yet gave his blessing anyway when Santiago chose the path of a shepherd and travel. The King of Salem, a type of guru, motivates Santiago to continue with his journey is his search for his personal legend. He allows him to follow his path to the pyramids of Egypt. The last man that Santiago meets is of pivotal importance. He acts as a savior. This was the Alchemist. This archetypal man pushed Santiago to maintain the right path of his life, follow and pursue what is of most value rather than stay with Fatima. As well as guiding Santiago, these men, in particular the Alchemist, taught him and guided him on his journey. They taught him that everything is one. We are afraid of losing what we have, be it our life’s possessions or property. This fear however, it leaves us when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand. “If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love . . . the love that speaks the...
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